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Posted on Thu, Apr 29, 2010 : 6:12 a.m.

Obama in Ann Arbor, rally for immigration reform Saturday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

On Saturday, May 1, tens of thousands of people are expected to attend hundreds of protest marches across the country in support of comprehensive immigration reform. These marches are being coordinated by The Campaign to Reform Immigration for America, a national coalition of individuals and grassroots organizations to build support for workable comprehensive immigration reform. According to their Web site: “Our vision of reform includes immigrants and native-born U.S. citizens working shoulder to shoulder to achieve better wages, working conditions, and labor protections. That’s our vision for a stronger America - for families, for workers, for businesses, and for security.”

Because President Barack Obama will be giving the commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 1, the Ann Arbor rally is drawing special attention. Busloads of people will be coming from Detroit, Ypsilanti, Grand Rapids, Pontiac, East Lansing, Kalamazoo. People will be gathering at Frisinger Park, located at East Stadium Boulevard and Woodbury in Ann Arbor, at 9 a.m., and marching peacefully to the University of Michigan Stadium.

The image of President Obama speaking inside the University of Michigan Stadium to thousands of students fulfilling their dreams of becoming educated professionals while thousands of immigrant students, workers, families and friends stand outside of the stadium calling out to the President to remember their dreams is a poignant one, especially following the recent passage of Arizona’s controversial immigration enforcement law SB1070 and while the bipartisan DREAM Act to give undocumented students a path to citizenship continues to linger in the House.

In addition, a group of seven students from One Michigan, a statewide youth-led immigrant rights organization, will be walking from Detroit to Ann Arbor in an "Avenue of Dreams" to show their support for the DREAM Act. They were Inspired by the Trail of Dreams walk to support the DREAM Act, in which one group of students is walking from Miami, Fla. to Washington, D.C., and another group of students is walking from New York city to Washington, D.C., telling their stories along the way, with plans to meet at the big rally in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, May 1.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her Web site at, her blog at, and she can be reached at